CORNER BROOK, N.L. - “Hey man, what’s up? You good?
“How’d the basketball thing work out? You get a scholarship to MUN? If not, that’s alright, keep working hard.”
That’s how Jacob Evoy opened a letter that he wrote to himself three years ago as a Level 1 student at Corner Brook Regional High.
On Wednesday, June 24, the Level 3 graduate from Massey Drive dropped by the school to pick up the letter. Evoy remembers being a little nervous starting Level 1.
“But for the most part, I was just excited about being able to get the high school experience. I was excited about sports and all that kind of stuff.”
When his English teacher that year, Lori George, presented the project of writing letters to themselves, Evoy thought it would be pretty cool.
“Because then you can kind of look back on what your mindset was at the beginning of high school versus at the end.”
Before reading his letter Evoy, who will be attending Grenfell Campus in the fall taking pre-requisite courses for pharmacy, said he didn’t remember what he wrote. He grinned a bit as he read the letter that said he wanted to be a radiologist or a pharmacist and asked if that was his plan now.
“You better have a great average coming out high school,” he wrote.
He also asked about his friends from Level 1 and if they were still with him and had some words of wisdom for his future self.
“My advice for the future, in case your head is too big, stay true to your roots, be a gentleman, and don’t forget about all the people who helped you get there along the way.”
Evoy was smiling after reading the letter and said a lot of it has come true.
“A lot of my goals, that’s where I want to be.”
One in particular is studying pharmacy.
“I always liked chemistry and my parents kind of pushed me towards it,” he said.
He also like the advice he gave himself.
“I’m glad I gave myself some advice back in Level 1 and I’m glad I’m still friends with the people on this list,” he said.
“I think it’s a pretty awesome feeling actually, because I think most of the friends that I had at the beginning of high school I’m going to have for a long time after. Because high school definitely puts those friendships to the test and if they’re still here now, then I think they’ll be here for a while.”
Having the Level 1 students write letters to their future selves was started by English teacher Colleen Huxter in 2009. It’s something she and fellow English teacher Paula Grudich still do every year. It came out of a story the students had read called “Emily’s Quest,” in which the character reads a letter she wrote to herself a long time ago. Huxter thought having the students do the same thing would be fun.
“Almost as a little bit of a time capsule thing. So that the kids would have something when they graduate to go in with their report cards or at the safe grad that would sort of be just a little snapshot of the kind of things they were thinking about, who they were hanging out with. Something that they might have actually set as a goal for themselves in high school.”
Huxter was off the year Evoy entered Level 1, but the project was continued in her absence by George.
“When the kids read them it’s quite sentimental,” said Huxter as she sat a table in the school’s gymnasium waiting for students to drop by. She said the students really look forward to it and start in March of their final year asking if she still has their letters.
“I’d say 90 per cent of the kids are really looking forward to seeing what they wrote. Some can’t remember. Some do. And it’s just a little fun thing to do.”
Huxter has even gone above and beyond to track down kids who move away before their final year and has sent letters to Germany, New Brunswick, and Ontario.
“We like to get the letters out there.”
Anyone who didn’t get a chance to pick up their letters on Wednesday can drop by the gym doors at the school on Friday from noon to 2 p.m.